Want more Twitter followers? Like real, legitimate Twitter followers rather than bots? Easily and for fairly cheap? Well here’s the good news: there are a few services that will indeed upgrade your follow count — automatically, behind-the-scenes. And, the one I tried for this review, Narrow.io, really does work. But there is some bad news as well. You’ll have to decide if this type of technique is worth it to you personally or to the brand you represent. Read on. For all you people out there Googling, “How to get more Twitter followers,” prepare to smile.
When it comes to getting Twitter followers you have a few options. You can be famous or influential (which most people are not) which will automatically translate into acquiring lots of Twitter followers. You can pay for promotion via Twitter’s promoted tweets (which most people will not want to do or won’t be able to afford). You can establish a large presence somewhere else online (be it a website or another social network) and cross-promote your Twitter profile to your audience. You can try to be awesome and hope people notice. You can engage with other Twitter users in order to draw attention to your profile. OR… you could use Narrow.io to engage with other Twitter users on your behalf to draw attention to your profile.
By far, using Narrow.io is the easiest. And it doesn’t cost too much either with a monthly subscription set at $9.
For $9 a month, Narrow.io will give you a dashboard where you can pick keywords that are related to your desired audience. You can designate whether the keywords should appear in Twitter users’ bio or in their tweets. Narrow.io says that bio keywords perform worse (but they are probably higher-quality, in some regards, in my thinking). You can use unlimited keywords. Over time, you’ll get a breakdown on your dashboard of how well each keyword performs.
The dashboard is very simple, but very clean and nice and easy-to-use. I like it a lot, even though I found myself wishing for more analytics and charts and data — I’m too used to Google Analytics, WordPress Stats and Chartbeat I guess. But the dashboard does it’s job nicely.
And here’s how it all works. Narrow.io takes your keywords and identifies users who are talking about them (either in their tweets or in their bios). Narrow.io then engages those users by favoriting their content or following them.
Jerad from Narrow.io tells me, “Once you’ve added your keywords, Narrow will follow Twitter users who are tweeting about subjects relevant to your business. Additionally, it will favorite relevant tweets to get your account more exposure. Users that don’t follow back are unfollowed after a certain amount of time, and all favorites are ‘undone’ after three days.”
For DailyTekk, I tried inputting somewhere around 20–40 tech-related keywords. It took a few days, but then the growth started to show. During my test drive our Twitter followers grew by about 100 followers per week (so around 400 new Twitter followers per month). I actually found that keywords related to other popular “tech personalities” performed better than gadget or company names or technology categories. Something to keep in mind if you give this a try for your market.
At the rate stated above we’d grow our Twitter account by around 4,800 followers per year for about $108. I’d call that pretty good performance: performance I think A LOT of people would be willing to pay for. But personally, I’d get a lot more excited if we could see a 10x increase to around 1,000 new followers per month. THAT would be amazing. For startups and for personal accounts, 4,800 followers a year might be of interest. It’s a nice foothold. But I think large brands are going to want/need more (and would certainly be willing to pay for it). I’m positive that Twitter would probably take note of, and frown upon, such a product.
Or maybe they’d buy it. Obviously the fact that this product exists — and works — means that Twitter’s not doing a good enough job of connecting accounts with interested parties. This actually has big implications: people would follow certain accounts if they just knew about them. Wake up Twitter!
But here comes that bad news. Following “just anyone” who happened to tweet about a keyword of yours badly degrades the actual Twitter experience. Before I knew it, DailyTekk was following porn accounts. Not only did I not want to see this in my feed, but I didn’t want other people to think that was who we really meant to be following. Cleanup took awhile (but was made much easier using a cool app called Twindr which is like Tinder for unfollowing people on Twitter).
Aside from following undesirable accounts, our Twitter feed was garbage. I’m a person who really values my Twitter feed. I am VERY careful about who I follow (I follow as few accounts as possible to ensure I’m seeing as much relevant, interesting information as possible). Using Narrow.io, all that went out the door.
Finally, if you’re a power-user who favorites Tweets frequently (say you have your IFTTT account set to auto-pull favorites tweets/articles into Pocket, for instance), your going to dislike how Narrow.io handles it’s bidness.
In the end, Narrow.io works. It does what it says it will do. But there is a cost beyond the monetary price. If you are willing to get more Twitter followers at any cost, Narrow.io is a no-brainer. If you’re concerned about your personal or brand image, Narrow.io may not yet be for you. One thing is for certain: if you use Narrow.io you WILL get more Twitter followers.
Narrow.io is young. It’s new. I’m hoping that as the product develops there will be some filtering options or safeguards one can put in place. I’m also hoping they’ll be able to scale the product up. In any case, it’s slick and well-executed and I’m excited to see where the future takes it.